These Foods Are Getting More And More Expensive During The Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic is far from over. In the past two weeks, cases have doubled indicating that the United States has now entered what people are referring to as the "fourth wave" of the pandemic (per USA Today). New COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are increasing across the globe as well, as the highly-contagious Delta variant continues to viciously spread. And after only a few months of minor relief, workers in the healthcare and restaurant industries who had just come up for a breath of air, are now back in the trenches. While the new wave is largely targeting those that are unvaccinated, the consequences of the "fourth wave" are wide-reaching and have other impacts outside of significant health and safety concerns.

Ever since the pandemic began in early 2020, global food supply chain experts have hypothesized that labor shortages and production hurdles would increase nation-wide grocery prices and lead to possible food shortages. Unfortunately, that still happens to be the case as the nation's economy continues to recover. According to Insurance Journal, global supply chains are reaching a "breaking point" as recent events have exhausted the system and are "threatening the fragile flow of raw materials, parts, and consumer goods." This being said, if you are trying to cut down your daily spending, now's the time to shop smartly — especially when you hit the grocery store.

Prices for these items may come as a shock at the grocery store

When it comes to increased food prices at the grocery store, here's what you need to know. In July of this year, overall prices rose by 5.4%, which was on par with June 2021's increase, according to CNN. However, prices for grocery staples and everyday ingredients such as meat, poultry, fish, eggs, and dairy all increased from last month. Unsurprisingly, as summer backyard barbecues run rampant, hot dogs saw the largest price leap compared to all other meat products, with a 4.8% increase.

As we head into back to school season, cereal and baked good prices, which declined in June, rose back up in July by 1.2%, the largest increase in a single month since April 2020, back when the pandemic first took hold. You might want to cool it with the cookies, doughnuts, and crackers, which are 1.9%, 2.8%, and 3.7% more expensive, respectively. Sorry, kiddos. 

As always, every cloud has a silver lining. The price of fresh fruit and veggies decreased in July, especially for citrus fruit prices, which declined by a whopping 5.4%. Now is also the perfect time to enjoy a healthy and refreshing summer snack during these scorching late summer heatwaves. Additionally, despite the increase in grocery prices, it's still more affordable to dine-in than order-out, as take-out prices increased by 0.8% last month. So, stay safe, and indulge in a delicious home-cooked meal this weekend — just maybe not hot dogs.